About Us
(Circa 2007)

Jeff

Jeff grew up in a small town in the mountains of Colorado, an environment that would shape his values and interests for the rest of his life. He moved to Arizona in 1986 to attend ASU. After working towards a degree for a few years to no avail, he joined his dad's business in 1992. There he learned plastic injection mold design, and has worked in that field ever since. He most recently was employed at a small manufacturer in Tempe. He finally obtained a BS degree in Information Technology in 2005.

Jeff's interests include many outdoor pursuits, with hiking, climbing and skiing being his favorites. Throughout the 1990's he was interested in mountaineering, and participated in climbing trips to the mountains of Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, as well as California's Mount Whitney (twice), Washington's Mount Rainier (twice) and Alaska’s Denali (Mount McKinley). For the past few years, his climbing interests have been closer to home, and he and Susan have enjoyed numerous rock-climbing trips throughout Arizona and other areas of the West.

Susan

Susan was born in a suburb of Chicago, but grew up in Racine, Wisconsin from the age of two. Here she met many of her life-long friends. Annual family vacations to Arizona sparked a desire to move to the southwest. After graduating from UW-Parkside with a BA in English, she did just that. She soon secured employment as a loan closer in the mortgage industry where she worked for 7 years. Inspired by a part-time tutoring job, Susan earned her Masters in Education and her reading endorsement. She taught third grade for 3-1/2 years prior to embarking on this new journey.

Writing has always been Susan’s true love. She has written poetry, short stories, a novel, two independently-written screenplays, and another screenplay with a fellow writer and friend. She and Jeff plan to write a non-fiction narrative about their year-long travels.

Besides writing, other interests include rock climbing, hiking and skiing, which she acquired an appreciation for after meeting Jeff.

Justin

Justin turned three years old in June, 2007. He spent the entire second year of his life on the road. He is an outgoing and fun-loving child who, despite being so young, has traveled extensively. Prior to the road trip and the 39 states he visited, he traveled to Chicago, Utah and Oregon, and made numerous climbing and hiking trips with Jeff and Susan to Colorado, Taquitz (Idyllwild, CA), Joshua Tree National Park and many areas around Arizona.

Justin's interests include reading, dinosaurs, exploring the outdoors, and talking to anyone who will listen.

Zane

We found out on the fifth day of our trip that there would be a new addition to the family coming in December. We thought about canceling the trip and settling down early, but decided that as long as we got all of Susan's prenatal checkups on the road, we should be able to incorporate a new baby into our travels.

Zane was born on December 22, 2006, after giving us a scare in the delivery room and sending Susan into the operating room for an emergency c-section. After an uneventful pregnancy, we were surprised and (initially) devastated by the news that Zane was born with Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that takes most kids in their first year. (See Update 11 for more information about Zane's diagnosis).

Since he was with us on the first half of the trip (albeit in utero), we decided to continue the trip and have Zane along for as much of it as he wanted to experience. Based on the statistics for Trisomy 18, we didn't know if he'd even make it to the end of the trip. But apparently road-tripping agrees with him, because he finished the trip with us. We're grateful for every day we have to spend with him, and we're happy that he is now in a house with no wheels and has a more normal routine.

Susan recently added a slideshow on YouTube to celebrate Zane's second birthday: www.youtube.com/watch?v=35eUxeO6Gs0.